On the understanding that we needed to be indoors for a conference, the Taipei weather was accordingly drizzly with rain. The CODATA 2012 International Conference began on Sunday 28th October running until Wednesday 31st October. With several keynotes, high level panel discussions, and 4 or 5 sessions running in parallel every day – it was a jam packed agenda. Hence I was only able to attend a fraction of what was going on.

There was an impressive line-up of speakers throughout including the Royal Society’s Prof Geoffrey Boulton FRS who gave a keynote based on the findings on the report Science as an open enterprise. The audience (and twittersphere) seemed to receive his talk well, despite it having many fewer powerpoint slides than others. There were some particularly inspiring talks given, a few such as the one by Ovid Tseng which focused on the wellbeing aspects of communication, and the talk given by Prof Carlson on the IPO of international projects on oceans, just to name a few.

Inspiring talks were given throughout, on this conference’s theme of “Open Data and Information for a Changing Planet”. Presentations covered subjects from Fukushima disaster data, to the digital divide in Mongolia, to environmental resilience, to health data, to mapping roadkill specimens in Taiwan.

The conference included a large array of data posters on particular pieces of excellent research, these were displayed throughout the 4 days, and presented by the authors in a “Poster Madness” session where they were each given a minute to explain them. A prize was given to Dr Anatoly Soloviev from the Moscow Geophysical Centre for his poster.

A special publication CODATA @45 years was launched at the end of the conference, and is well worth a read if you’re interested in CODATA’s history.

It remains to be seen what will happen in the international data spheres, how data will be handled, how different countries will interpret their responsibilities as well as different data producers not just in academia. As has been said before, open data is a process not an event.